Identification Guides‎ > ‎Fish‎ > ‎


English Sole

(Parophrys vetulus)

    Only juveniles have been observed in Fishing Bay.
     Look for:  Compressed, right-eyed body
                          Pointed snout
                          Eye is set high and is visible from the blind side.
                          To 57 cm
                          Coloration on right side of body is brown.
                          Coloration on left side of body is white to pale yellow, 
                                 commonly tinged with reddish brown.
                          Elongated diamond outline and a lateral line that 
                                 arches  high over each pectoral fin distinguish the 
                                 English sole from similar species.
      Diet:  A carnivorous feeder consuming marine worms,  
                           amphipods,  mollusks, crustaceans, echinoderms. 
      Habitat: Demersal fish that lives on sandy and muddy  
                                 bottoms of estuaries and nearshore areas.  Can     
                                  inhabit  waters up to 550 m deep. 
      Range: Baja California to Bering Sea.  Most abundant flat fish 
                                 in Puget Sound.
    Reproduction: Spawning takes place January to April at   
                                           depths of 50–70m over soft muddy  
                                           bottoms. Females produce between 
                                           150,000 and 1 million free-floating eggs that                  
                                           hatch within 1 week. Young depend heavily
                                           on intertidal areas and shallow nearshore 
                                           waters  for food and shelter.  Because of the  
                                          English sole's reliance on  nearshore habitats,
                                          it is heavily impacted by pollution and

Starry Flounder

(Platichthys stellatus)

    Only juveniles have been observed in Fishing Bay.
    Look for:  Flat fish that may have eyes on either right or left side
                        Black and white to orange bars on dorsal and anal fins
                        Skin covered with scales modified into tiny star-
 tubercles giving the fish a rough feel.
                        Eye side is black to dark brown.
                        Lower side is white or cream.
                        Coloration can change to blend in with the sea floor.
                        To 91 cm
                        Glides over bottom by rippling dorsal and anal fins.
     Diet:  Larvae consume planktonic algae and crustaceans
.  As
                        they metamorphose, they consume larger animals, 
                        including zooplankton, copepods, crustaceans, and 
    Habitat: Inhabits inshore areas to 375 m, ranging from
                           estuaries into
  fresh water.
    Range: Aleutian Islands to Santa Barbara, California
    Reproduction: Spawning occurs near mouth of rivers. 
                                           Juveniles may
 be found exclusively in
                                           estuaries and shallow waters.  When young,
                                           starry flounder swim vertically, but soon
                                            begin to tilt to one side as they
                                           Eventually, they live flat on sandy bottoms. 
                                           Once flat, one eye 
migrates and coloration
                                            alters on lower side.

Adult English sole

juvenile starry flounder